A handy video from the SLCPD about grifter Kari Ferrell.
I blog about non-crime subjects for a new site called ASSME.org. Today I posted a brief entry there about a wanted, alleged con woman from Utah, one Kari Ferrell, age 22.
Essentially, Ferrell talked her way into employment (very briefly) at Vice Magazine. She was pierced, tattooed, asian, elfin, forward, funky, funny – in other words, catnip for a certain breed of New York-centric media person, especially folks who are also in their 20s, like Ferrell herself. Then someone at Vice googled her and decided she wasn’t such a good hire after all. They most likely got this.
She’s been a very bad girl – $60,000 worth of bad – but at first, I didn’t think Ferrell merited a post here. Why? For one thing, the New York media/gossip blog juggernaut Gawker has gone absolutely stark raving nuts over Ferrell’s story. They have both a Kari Ferrell tag and a Hipster Grifter tag, to name a few related to this tale of tats and bounced checks. That’s a lot of comprehensive coverage by a very popular site. I couldn’t figure out what to add to that.
I also felt that journalist Doree Shafrir did an outstanding job detailing Ferrell’s story for the Observer. You can read that here.
The big deal of the day today for Gawker and then the post that I created for ASSME was Kari Ferrell’s MySpace profile (there’s some incredibly gross and offensive art on the profile – click at your peril) which was just about the only bit of Hipster Grifter-related online arcana no one had published yet.
Over the weird art, the self-consciously eccentric statements, a brief statement that Kari Ferrell repeated several times on her MySpace profile leaped out at me: “I have every single interest you have. I am your carbon copy.”
If there were a handbook for grifters, that statement would be the boldface epigraph on one of the first pages.
It said everything about her. Kari Ferrell was stating, whether she meant to or not, that she would mold herself to be whatever you wanted. She was saying there really isn’t a Kari. There’s the Kari you want to see, no matter who you are. That might sound kind of awesome if you haven’t been around the bend yet, but it’s actually scary as hell – because Kari was plainly telling anyone astute enough to notice just how grifters slide in under their marks’ radars. Grifters are often sociopaths, and that means they often don’t have much of a real personality all their own. They prey on others for everything. Their lives are predatory, or perhaps in Kari’s case, parasitic.
Most people who knew Kari Ferrell prior to her bizarre celebrity (thanks to Gawker, really) were probably blindsided by any scams she ran on them. But ironically, I really think a big clue was on her MySpace page the entire time. Most people just don’t want to or don’t know how to notice such a thing. I’m not sure I would, in their shoes. At least not right away. And when I was in my 20s, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
If you’re in NYC, keep an eye out for Kari Ferrell. It’s hard to miss that tattoo. Otherwise, she’ll just keep preying on others.
And remember – if anyone close to you ever makes a statement remotely similar to “I have every single interest you have. I am your carbon copy,” you should immediately become very suspicious. Unless that person is, like, your identical twin or something. Or clone. Even then, I’d probably be wary.
The Salt Lake City Police have a nice jumpsuit waiting for the Hipster Grifter. Tell them if you know anything about her whereabouts: (801) 799-3000.